If you can’t beat ’em, suspend them

The focus of the news is the afterglow of the Asean Summit, the Palace pump-priming local governments for the elections (on the crude premise, I suppose, that whatever the temporary fallout, it’s better to have an opponent out of office come election day than in office to influence the outcome), and the jockeying for the Senate race, interspersed with news of the latest contribution by the New People’s Army to economic development, and continuing environmental trouble.

Edu Manzano makes two confirmed administration candidates. A report by Newbreak focuses on the faction-ridden negotiations within the opposition, and says the Palace strategy, with regards to slates, is “well show you ours when you show us yours.”

It’s been seven years and yet the Free Press’ two men of the year for 2000 still hog the headlines: Singson and Estrada.

And just when you thought the military had said it wanted nothing to do with ex-cops ruling the roost in Defense: Ebdane, after all, may be the next Defense chief. Meanwhile, the National Security Adviser chimes in and says being in the Reserve Officer Training Corps should be a requirement for college graduation once more.

Supreme Court session hall goes up in smoke on the same day the man responsible for its redecoration, Hilario Davide, begins doing victory laps for his representative to the United Nations position.

There’s this charmingly-written article on columnist Vic Agustin leaving the Inquirer and moving to the Manila Standard-Today:

In a letter to MST publisher Teodoro Locsin Jr., Inquirer publisher Isagani Yambot said his newspaper had a certificate of registration issued by the Philippine Intellectual Property Office for the “Cocktales” name and the cocktail glasses graphic that used to appear on top of Agustin’s column when he was still wroting there.

Oh well.

Overseas, it seems a kind of Federalism in the United Kingdom threatens dissolution of the union; a grisly hanging in Iraq; New Zealand supports a Security Council seat for Japan. And problems with democratizing the drafting of Thailand’s new constitution.

Tony Abaya in his column suggests the prosecution of former cabinet member Nani Perez is a sham:

A clue as to why our judicial system is dysfunctional may have been provided by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita. One day after Ombudsman Gutierrez announced that Perez would be charged with graft and extortion, Secretary Ermita publicly expressed his “belief” that Perez is innocent, just because Perez was “one of our allies.” (Inquirer, Jan. 10)

“Nani is one of our allies, and deep inside me, I know what he is telling me is the truth,” Ermita is quoted by the Inquirer.

,,,Not that it surprised anyone. It merely puts in black and white what many observers have long noted about the Philippine judicial system: the intrinsic merits of your case do not matter as much as whom you know. And it explains the inexplicable.

The Ermita Doctrine explains why Virgilio Garcillano cannot be summoned to a congressional investigation of the “Hello Garci” tape. Garci is innocent of any wrongdoing because he is “one of our allies,” even if he claims he never left the country when he was being sought by congressional investigators, while the Government of Singapore, in its note verbale to the our Department of Foreign Affairs, stated that Garci arrived in Singapore on July 14 on board a Learjet and left the next day on board a commercial airliner.

The Ermita Doctrine also explains why Joc Joc Bolante cannot be summoned by the Senate to shed light on P738 million worth of fertilizer funds that were dispersed by him just before the 2004 elections, even to congressional districts that had no agriculture to fertilize. Joc Joc is innocent of any wrongdoing because he is “one of our allies.”

The Ermita Doctrine also explains why Imelda Marcos and her children, and Joseph Estrada and his son, continue to float in a judicial limbo, neither guilty nor innocent, – 20 years and five years, respectively, after cases were filed against them. There are untiring efforts to make them “one of our allies,” through “reconciliation,” if they would only agree to share their loot.

The Ermita Doctrine is probably also at work in the plunder cases pending, for three years now, against Gen. Carlos Garcia, Gen. Jacinto Ligot and Col. George Rabusa. The fear seems to be that if these cases were pursued with any vigor, the resulting revelations would entangle “one of our allies” or “several of our allies” in their web of military corruption.

In his column, Alex Magno claims the following:

The economist Noel de Dios pointed out something the other day that I hadn’t realized: for the first time in its recorded economic history, the Philippines has posted a 3% per capita growth for five continuous years.

Might economics-minded readers weigh in on this score? Is this true, or a selective reading of the statistics?

In the blogosphere, History Unfolding, who presciently warned of a looming political and constitutional crisis in the USA, has seen his prediction come close to fruition. He dissects the escalation in Iraq announced by the US President and says a re-ordering of American politics will be necessary on the scale achieved by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Ernest Wilson looks at Martin Luther King in retrospect.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

57 thoughts on “If you can’t beat ’em, suspend them

  1. “While indeed OFW remittances are considered part of GNP, it is also easy to see that there technically is no product or production involved here.”

    GNP is not only a measure of tangible products but intangible as well which are called services. Consultancy services are a part of them.

  2. cvj wrote:
    From the above data set, per capita GDP growth averages 2.3% between 2001 and 2005 which is marginally up from the average per capita growth of 2.2% between 1994 and 2005. It’s far from de Dios’ claim of 3% per year. Maybe he has a different data set or a different way of calculating the per capita GDP increase.

    De Dios is correct if the basis of computation is between from 2001 to 2005.

    The growth rate per year is as follow:

    2001 base year
    2002 2.4
    2003 2.7
    2004 4.05
    2005 2.88
    Total 12.03
    divided by four Not five years since 2001 is the base year. Change is counted beginning 2002.

    so if 12.03 is divided by four, you will 3.001 per cent.

  3. Ca T, you’re right. Ricelander also pointed that out to me in his comment above (at January 17th, 2007 at 1:46 pm).

  4. sorry, just to correct myself. ricelander pointed that out to me earlier (at January 16th, 2007 at 5:28 pm)

  5. The claim by Alex Magno is precise: “for the first time in its recorded economic history, the Philippines has posted a 3% per capita growth for five continuous years.”
    MLQ3 asked:
    Is Magno claiming:

    a) there has been 3% per capita growth, every single year, for the past five years
    b) there has been an average of 3% growth on average, over the past five years

    and if either a or b, in no other five-year period “in recorded history” for the Philippines, can there be said to have been something similar?

    which makes me wonder:

    1. when did philippine economic history begin to be recorded?
    2. when did per capita economic growth begin to be recorded?
    3. and has that growth never exceeded 3% for any arbitrarily-chosen five year chunk?


    letter b


    Using cvj’s statistics from 1986 to 2005 with 1985 as base year for deflated prices:

    average growth rate from 2001-2005
    2001 base year
    2002 2.34
    2003 2.73
    2004 4.05
    2005 2.88

    average 3.0


    average growth rate from 1996-2000

    1996 base year
    1997- 2.86
    1999- 1.21
    2000- 5.95

    average rate 1.82


    1991 base year
    1992 (2.2)
    1993 (0.38)
    1994 1.89
    1995 2.2

    average growth rate 1.51 per cent

    Ramos Administration

    1986- base year

    1987- 1.86
    1988- 3.68
    1989- 3.63

    average growth rate 1.51

    Therefore Magno is right.

    Erm cvj, Looking at the averages, I think the housewife did not beat the economist.

  6. Ca T, yes, i reached that same conclusion above (at January 17th, 2007 at 3:07 am). Of course, the pre-December 1989 coup Cory still beats GMA hands down.

  7. 3% annual growth in GDP per capita pero may population growth rate ka na 2% . Kulang pa rim to uplift the majority

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